Buddy Doug is off doing great things in Washington, D.C. Among them he's making good on his threats to green up all our beltways. He wrote and launched The Green Home Guide, brought to you by (him and) the Green Building Council.
I've already read his beautifully crafted prose about green renovation, and, I'm proud to say that we were planning to do all of those things, minus the exterior plantings.
We have four floor-to-ceiling, single-pane windows that rattle and leak air like crazy (you could catch pneumonia from across the room), so we'll be caulking those. We're replacing the fridge and dishwasher with energy star versions and plan to purchase an energy star washer-dryer combo (ovens and dryers evidently can't be energy star by their very nature, but we air-dry at least half of all our laundry, so there's some more bragging for you!). We already have a programmable thermostat that is set to 51 degrees during the remodel. We need to replace the shower head and we don't have any sink faucets right now, so it should be pretty easy to buy low-flow faucets or make them that way during installation. We're already using low-VOC paint, and we won't be using any other industrial glues or products that will have lots of VOC(s). We're purchasing IKEA kitchen cabinets made of particleboard constructed to European standards, which means very low levels of formaldehyde and less off-gassing after installation. And we're using bamboo flooring and slate tile — both of which we have picked or will pick up from warehouses within 20 miles of our condo (granted, Utah doesn't have any native bamboo fields, but we haven't yet found flooring made of scrub oak).
Since we live in a condo building, we don't have a lot of control over landscaping. But I've long loved having plants inside — the sunroom in our last place always had three or four planters and a few potted plants. We also keep a plant in nearly every room (a small deed when you have only a few rooms, but I'm taking credit nonetheless). It's literal green for the figurative green title.
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